Local 98 Picketer Charged in Incident at NBC10 Studio

Union head Johnny Doc told us that a station employee drove into a picketer. But police charged the picketer — not the driver.

The scene outside NBC10's studio in Bala Cynwyd after a Local 98 picketer was allegedly struck by a car being driven by an NBC10 employee.

The scene outside NBC10’s studio in Bala Cynwyd after a Local 98 picketer was allegedly struck by a car being driven by an NBC10 employee.

Last week, Local 98 union head John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty told Philadelphia magazine that two union members were “assaulted” by cars on the picket line outside NBC 10’s studio along City Avenue in Bala Cynwyd. And now the Lower Merion Police Department says that no charges have been filed against either of the accused drivers, but a picketer has been charged in one of the incidents.

“In the past two days at NBC’s City Line Avenue headquarters, two Local 98 members were struck by cars being driven by NBC staff members,” Local 98 spokesperson Frank Keel told us last Friday. “They were NBC vehicles. Both of our members are being medically evaluated right now to determine the extent of their injuries.”

The first incident occurred on Thursday night and the second early on Friday morning. We asked the Lower Merion Township Police Department if anyone was arrested. “Turns out, there was no assault,” says township spokesperson Thomas Walsh of Thursday’s dustup. “The investigation concluded that a picketer tried to prevent an employee from leaving the parking lot. That picketer is being cited for disorderly conduct.”

Walsh would not identify Thursday’s driver or the picketer being charged, citing township policy.

As for the Friday incident, the car in question was being driven by NBC10 facilities manager Angelo Zangare. We asked Zangare if he struck a picketer with his car. “That’s not what happened,” said Zangare. “The guy walked into my car. The police are tired of this stuff.” Lower Merion police say that no one is being charged in that matter at this time.

When we spoke to him last Friday, Dougherty told us that the union was going to go to the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the United States Attorney on Monday. When reached for comment today, Keel explained that the union has not gone to the Attorney General or U.S. Attorney yet. As for the charge against the picketer, Keel says his alleged behavior, if true, is “understandable.”

“We’re checking that out,” he says of the charge against the union member. “If that did indeed happen, it’s understandable. In situations like this, when you have corporations trying to screw with livelihoods, emotions run high. It’s understandable but regrettable.”

NBC10 photographers and technicians went on strike last week just ahead of the pope’s visit. The picketers continue to line up outside the NBC10 studio as well as at the JFK Boulevard headquarters of station owner Comcast.

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